Darby Morhardt explains the likelihood of a women getting Alzheimer's if her mother had the disease.
Read the full transcript »
Learn About Alzheimer and Heredity I'm Darby Morhardt. I'm with the Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer Disease Center at Northwestern University, Lambert School of Medicine. I am a clinical social worker by education and I've been working with clinically with patients and families for the past 25 years particularly with persons with dementia and their families. I have primarily worked in the out-patient setting. Our center is one of the 27 Alzheimer’s disease Centers from the Bena National Institute on Aging. And so, our focus for the center is to conduct research on Alzheimer disease to find new better treatments for it, to understand how the brain functions and to -- as we understand how the brain functions better we then can help to -- those treatments, it helps facilitate the discovery of again those perhaps new and better treatments that can then be transferred, the benefits can be transferred to patients and to families. So we do a lot of outreach and education in the community. And we are also as people have been diagnosed with Alzheimer disease in the earlier stages of the illness. We have started some unique programs, programs that didn’t exist prior to maybe ten years ago and those are programs for person in the early stages of the illness. Like anything, if you have the disease in your family or parent has it or another relative has it, particularly a first degree relative, you had a greater risk and that’s for anything, heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer disease is part of that. But there's no prediction that you will get it and the way the research is going now, we are better understanding ways of keeping ourselves our healthy. We’re finding to exercise, social stimulation. Don’t be isolated if you have mental health issues, depression to get them treated. And the more that you stay physically and mentally healthy, you may be lowering your risks for getting Alzheimer disease. Or if you are -- really age is the biggest risk factor for Alzheimer disease. So if we all live long enough, it’s quite inevitable that we will get Alzheimer. What we are all want to do is try to keep us, ourselves from getting it for as long as possible, so that we end living as well as we can for as long as we possible.